|Grounds crew guidelines|
By Jim Caple
Page 2 columnist
Jan. 22, 2004
From: The Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball
To: Bullpen and grounds crew workers at Shea Stadium and the Ballpark in Arlington
Re: Recent free-agent signings of Karim Garcia and Jeff Nelson
1. At no time should workers attempt to antagonize the previously mentioned players by waving towels, pennants or big foam puffy hands while within a 10-foot radius, nor by shouting derogatory comments about their teams or their mothers. Workers must also be careful not to stare directly into the players' eyes, as this will be perceived as a sign of aggression.
2. Arlington Stadium workers are advised that they will need to frequently re-sod the bullpen throughout the summer to compensate for destruction of grass caused by Nelson "marking his territory.''
3. If workers find themselves in a potentially violent situation with a player, their best response is to remain calm, stand as tall as possible to establish social dominance and back away slowly. Do not turn your back on the player at any time. Note: Some workers have found that these players can be distracted by bright lights and shiny objects.
4. The players association prohibits strip searches, but bullpen metal detectors are allowed and recommended. Umpires will also check for emery boards, sandpaper and brass knuckles.
5. While defensive barriers are suggested for Shea Stadium, workers are reminded that warning tracks are to remain warning tracks. They should not be transformed into moats. Warning tracks may not exceed depths of 1.5 inches below the outfield dirt, nor may they be filled with water, nor stocked with piranhas, sharks, barracudas, alligators, crocodiles, water moccasins, moray eels, box jellyfish, giant squid, tuna with toxic levels of mercury, farm-raised salmon or any other life-threatening aquatic creatures.
7. Individual workers at Shea Stadium should not need additional weapons beyond the tire irons, knives and broken beer bottles that are standard issue for all New York stadium workers. Handguns are allowed under Texas law, but they must be displayed in a holster. Whips may be used in either stadium, but they are not generally considered effective means of control. (See attached pages on Roy Horn.)
8. Be advised. In addition to sprinklers and hoses normally used for maintenance of the grass, water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets may be required for quelling disturbances, particularly when the Yankees are in town. Leave room in the budget for the purchase of same.
9. To maintain a proper sense of routine for the two players, daily feedings should be at a consistent time, such as during batting practice or at sundown. Note: Never attempt to remove food from the player while he is feeding.
10. As always: No pepper spray.
Enjoy the season. And be careful out there.
Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com